sunnuntai 16. helmikuuta 2014

Answer to Swedish firepower?

Since impact of cossacks and reiters was not enough to break the Swedish line it is time to muster Polands finest and finally get the hussars I got from Legio Heroica on the bases and into colors.

12 hussars, four bases, is not that much but it will certainly give the Crown regiment more punch. Here testing if the figure can be painted with the wings on. Yes - a tad ackward, but can be done. Gluing the wings was again task I really did not like.

By Fire and Sword First divisional level battle .

With no camera on playing site, just a brief report. Basically my Poles got shotten to pieces by Swedish artillery and musketeers.

To my big surprise my force was precisely equal in force strength points to Swedish force meeting it.
( My opponen got a shipment of heavier artillery week before the game and his battery of 12 and 6 pounders together with artillery commander and ammunition wagon raised his strength point total by 10.)
So I was facing a minimumstrenght dragoon regiment, weakish infantry regiment with artillery support, heavy battery of artillery and medium strenght regiment of reiters.

On my deployment I had light regiment on the right, reiters on the left noble forces in the middle, with objective of occupying central hill together with their attached musketeers. Regiment of Opalinski was on a flanking move. My opponent had his dragoons on my right in a patch of forest, with divisional squadron of reiters close by , infantry in the center with grand battery on his left with attached musketeers and Reiter regiment on his far right.

I started by throwing the light regiment forward, nobles marching towards the central hill and my reiters advancing toward the left flank. My opponent let his Reiters ride towards the flank and advanced cautiously with his pike and shotte infantry. Parts of his battery and their support musketeers advanced to a hill conveniently close to his deployment zone. Shock number one: 12 pounder can shoot grapeshot for distance of 50 cm - easily reaching the flank of my reiter regiment and disorganizing squadron of reiters leaving them stranded on the open field in the fire field of whole darn artillery park.

Second turn saw advance of both parties, with arty tearing the already hurt reiters to pieces and making them run and the dragoons attached to this regiment also receiving fire.

Third turn saw Opalinski showing up on the left flank at the same time the Reiters were reaching the charge distance. On this flank mutual carnage was had when pancerni battled two different squadrons of reiters and my reiters and cossacks tried to reach the musketeers on the hill. On my right regimental guns managed to disorganize or put to flight banner of Wallachians but rest of regiment advance to firing distance of various enemies.

When the dust settled on left flank what was left of my pancerni had withdrawn in disorder after battleing two enemy squadrons and giving out lots of damage but also receiving similar amounts, Opalinski had ridden  to safety after some maniac had tried to shoot him, leaving him without orders and my cossacks who only just reached the musketeer flank with one base failed to hurt them, lost hurt and started fleeing. Artillery hurt the reiter regiment trying to come to grips with enemy, and the armored reiters trying to reach musketeers failed their charge by about 5 mm thanks to the difficult ground of gentle slope. After exchanging fire from close range the reiters returned to the foot of the hill in disorder. Going though this round took about an hour of gaming time. Nearly every unit had something to do.

Fourth turn saw passive regiment of Opalinski getting hammered by Reiters who despite this had hard time with Pancerni. My reiters and dragoons  tried to take the hill, once again and to support Opalinski by charging the Swedish reiters. Cumulative effects of melee and arty fire got them to to lose morale and the main body was wiped out. On the left light regiment got worse off in exchanege of fire and and started to be in fleeing condition. Infantry of noble levy regiment was nicely in position, but only musketeers had anything within range.

In fifth and sixth round the morale of both light and crown regiment broke too and, light regiment lost its commander and as result the noble levy also decided it had seen enough.

What saved me in points of calculating the gravity of my defeat was the fact that quite a lot of my forces had actually fled the battlefield rather than be killed.

The flanking maneuver worked pretty much as it should have -with reiters and crown regiment showing up at same time and place. Unfortunately they could not get their charges to work in co-ordinated manner. The hill with one unit of musketeers was surprisingly effective.
Light regiment did not do its job of shielding better striking units - its flanking movement on the right did not achieve anything. Reiters suffered surprisingly heavily from arty, thanks to good hadling of them by my opponent. Nobles did nothing and when having lan-infantry facing musketeers nothing good can be expected. They might have a role when defending some objective r they should be thrown closer to the enemy in harassing manner despite the losses.

No easy recipe for victory against enemy such as this. More careful deployment perhaps. Batteries could be charged frontally with several waves of open order cavalry, but that is bound to give horrendous casualties.

By Fire and Sword Division

Well, date has been set for a game of By Fire and Sword on division level.
That means I need to organize Poles I've been working on into regiments and see what kind of division I can muster.
Core of the division will include three regiments of which two must be variants of Polish cavalry regiments. I have decided to field one light and one crown regiment for these tasks. The third regiment could be Reiters, Dragoons, Mercenary Infantry of western type  or - like in my case Levy of Nobility regiment. In addition to these I could field two more optional regiments - either Polish cavalry regiments or any foreign regiments. In addition I would get to field some divisional artillery, and divisional companies.

Command is held by Regimentarsz Tadeusz Potocki. (Commanders fictional or anachronistic.)

Polish Warszyski's Light cavalry regiment. Base of the regiment is 4 Cossack banners. In addition one may buy more Cossacks, Wallachians or as in this case tatars. Additional troops for this regiment are Pancerni. One of the Cossacks I changed to Wallachians.  In addition I used points in beefing up the reconnaissance ability of this regiment with three banners of tatars, two of them strenghtened with extra base each.  In the end this regiment costs 10 Force Strength points. The plan is to use these guys as a screening and harassing force and try and avoid having them fighting any fair fights.

Polish Crown Regiment of Opalinski. Base of regiment Pancerni and Cossacks. Can be strengthened with more Cossacks and Pancerni. This regiment could field Hussar Banners, as additional elite units, but since mine are unassembled and unpainted, this regiment will have to go without. Cavalry regiments benefit from Noble brothers rule - they get confidence from presence of other noble Polish regiments - but also feel specially nervous if something should happen to them. This one as close to minimum strenght and cost but I found a way to cram an extra banner of pancerni into the regiment giving them some punch. At 7 FSP they are still cheaper than the light regiment so I need to figure out a way of fielding a stronger regiment for mainforce, in order to be able to use Light regiment as vanguard. This regiment might see use as ambush or flanking force.

Regiment of Levy of Nobility of Chelm, led by castellan Zamojski, is basically noble volunteers. Part of these can be traded for peasant levy infantry. And they can field an 1.5 pounder falconet. Motivation of these guys is dubious, they are here to show up, not to fight and they are hard to command under best of circumstances. If they suffer any casualties they are liable to call it a day.  But boy, do they look dashing. Cheap in points, 4 FSP with the hinders. I decided to leave the falconet, but give one of the lan companies cobylica treetrunk hinders. What their role will be on the battlefield remains to be seen.

As additional regiment I will field a regiment of Reiters led by Albrecht Holk. This regimental spot could also be filled by Dragoons or  Infantry or even more Polish cavalry regiments.  At smallest it could be just four companies of reiters. My muster will have more to have some striking power against the Swedish and to enable me to use the light regiment as scouts. So I beef up the command points of the colonel, buy all allowed companies of armored and unarmored reiters and give these guys a lieutenant-colonel Rantzau to boot. With cost of 12 FSP this regiment will be my main force. It will probably not be enough to smash Swedish infantry to pieces alone, but if other flanking and harassing cavalry gets them to some level of disorganization they have a shot.

As divisional support I could have artillery - If I had infantry or dragoon regiments. Since I will by out gunned by the Swedish garrison division I will be facing in any case I decided to leave artillery and try to rely on mobility.

In addition I could by four units from a list  of troops allowed: ammunition wagons, companies of musketeers or reiters, dragoons or Polish infantry.I settled on a company of musketeers and two companies strong squadron of dragoons. Musketeers I will probably leave to stiffen the volunteer regiment since they are not very  mobile. Dragoons may be attached to some cavalry regiment in order to get forward fire support. With four bases they will lose firefight to any real infantry, but in right place they might make a difference. Cost of these extras 3 Points

I suspect I have loads of more points than my adversary. It interesting to see how extra effects will affect my troops at and before deployment. With the guns and infantry Swede can muster I would need to separate his cav from his infantry and beat them separately. He'll need to use obstacles and natural cover to maximum effect to protect his infantry and guns. I need to try and flank possible obstacles and preferably attack from several angles at the same time. In  worst case I can try to overwhelm him with superior numers and get his morale to drop by archery and fire of mobile cav before charging in with the reiterws and pancerni.

keskiviikko 5. helmikuuta 2014

...and continuing. Reiters WIP

 Reiters have continued to get details, on the side I've added details to noble volunteers I started already before Christmas. The reiters  got sword frocks, hair and beard, manes of horses, stripes to saddleblankets and steel to their pistols and swords.
 In principle they are ready for inking. I might still add some detail like buckles or hooves, but basically the primary colors are done.

The volunteers had most riders already painted but lacked color on some horses and quite a lot of reins. Finally got all the horses painted as well as reins, some saddleblankets are still black.
Some of the greens dont really work, they are too dark and require some work. Horses manes are mostly unpainted and require work. And all the figures need to be checked for any missing details. Facial hair is missing so far and quite a lot of guys have black undercoat showing in their fur caps. Not a bad color, or effect, but very lazy solution.

On the side some of the Cossacks or Light cavalry by QR miniatures got excess color so that all their horses have the basic color. I kind of like the leather red - new bottle in my paint storage so it seems freash among grey and light brown mounts.

And since I don't seem to be able to get just a small drop of paint: 
the Pancerni from same batch got their mail coats and helmets painted now.

Alltogether a reasonably productive evening. Counts as family time since I set up my painting area on same table as wife was playing Civ and even had conversation while working on our respective pastimes. Cozy.

tiistai 4. helmikuuta 2014

Continuing the reiters

 Decent hour hour and a half of painting. Added red on the reiters and used same color for various cossacks, volunteers,pancerni and other troops  on the painting table. Same story with different browns
I used for reins and different parts of these Reiters other gear. Only after putting this pic up I noticed missing scabbards. 

Likewise with skintone and metallic blue I gave to the helmets and breastplates. The effect of metallic blue is not bad but feels a bit like cheating. It is also a bit too shiny for what I'd expect blackened armor of mercenary troopers to look like. 

maanantai 3. helmikuuta 2014

Cossacks and reiters WIP

With less harsh winter I finally did some undercoating outside.
Tatars are still waiting for inspiration, at the moment the horde looks even too dirty, but I am not sure what to do to amend that. Some careful highlighting may be in order.

I finally glued on some cossacks I have been painting separately.

By Fire and Sword cossacks.

Some highlighted details, grass to the bases, varnish and I think these guys may ride to skirmishfields. And a flagpole to the flagcarrier ofcourse.
Reiters from QRMiniatures

 With these I am experimenting on new process with painting troops before basing them. Handling horses and riders separate already seemed much more comfortable than painting three troopers and their mounts side by side. Interesting to see how this method works for me.These troopers are to get coloring suitable for German mercenary cavalry equally at home in Polish or Imperial troops. If required they might be easily drafted to Swedish or Danish service. I am tempted to get more of these guys, just to get more troopers with that wonky helmet, but so far I have resisted the temptation - no new miniature purchases until previous ones are painted and based, preferably finished.

Obviously not all of them, but amount comparable to intended purchases.  And even though I get kind of reluctant to do the finishing touches to units I need do just that to clear the queue I have made.
So in future I should work on:
- finishing Wargamer Cossacks, Volunteers and Polish Infantry.
- making a list of troops required for Polish division - that is minimum of two Polish cavalry regiments of which one may be light one, with at least one more regiment which may be volunteers, Dragoons or German mercenaries - and painting those units first
- finish the Reiters that I have already done to some level
- work on units of Italian wars and finish them one at the time
- playing with toysoldiers
- having fun in all parts of the process